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Graphics/Benchmarks

Windows 10 October 2018 Update Performance Against Ubuntu 18.10, Fedora 29

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Graphics/Benchmarks

As the latest of our benchmarks using the newly re-released Microsoft Windows 10 October 2018 Update, here are benchmarks of this latest Windows 10 build against seven different Linux distributions on the same hardware for checking out the current performance of these operating systems.

For this latest Linux OS benchmarking comparison against Windows, the following platforms were tested:

- The Windows 10 April 2018 release as the previous major milestone of Windows 10.

- The newest Windows 10 October 2018 build as the latest Windows 10 build from Microsoft.

- OpenSUSE Tumbleweed as the openSUSE rolling-release distribution that as of testing was on the Linux 4.18.12 kernel, KDE Plasma 5.14, Mesa 18.1.7, and GCC 8.2.1 atop an XFS home file-system with Btrfs root file-system (the default partitioning scheme).

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Graphics: NVIDIA's New Vulkan Driver and Intel's Vulkan Driver Is Working On A NIR Cache

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • NVIDIA 396.54.09 Vulkan Driver Released With Transform Feedback, Intel ANV Gets TF Too

    Today is certainly a very exciting day in the Vulkan space.

    Following the release of Vulkan 1.1.88 that brings initial support for the much anticipated transform feedback support, to help projects like DXVK and VKD3D for mapping Direct3D (or even OpenGL) atop Vulkan, there has been a slew of driver updates.

  • anv: Add a NIR cache

    This patch series adds a simple NIR shader cache that sits right after spirv_to_nir and brw_preprocess_nir and before linking. This should help alleviate some of the added overhead of link-time optimization since most of the NIR-level optimization is now cached prior to linking.

  • Intel's Vulkan Driver Is Working On A NIR Cache

    As a possible performance win, Jason Ekstrand as the lead developer of the Intel ANV open-source Vulkan driver has been developing a NIR cache.

Release of DXVK 0.90 and Vulkan API News

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Hot on the heels of the latest release of the Vulkan API, DXVK 0.90 is now out with Stream Output support

    DXVK [GitHub], the awesome Vulkan-based D3D11 and D3D10 implementation that's used in Wine and Steam Play's Proton has just put out version 0.90 after the latest release of the Vulkan API.

  • DXVK 0.90 Released With Stream Output, Several Game Fixes

    Hot off merging transform feedback into DXVK for supporting Direct3D 11 Stream Output, Philip Rebohle released DXVK 0.90.

    The main addition with DXVK 0.90 is the support for Stream Output via Vulkan Transform Feedback -- of course, you'll need the updated/patched Vulkan drivers. At this stage this Stream Output support helps games running on Unity Engine, The Witcher 3 (especially with NVIDIA Hairworks support), Final Fantasy XV, Quake Champions, Overwatch, and other games with different rendering issues or missing elements.

  • DXVK Already Lands Vulkan Transform Feedback Support, RADV Posts Patches

    With the newly-announced Vulkan 1.1.88 that brings VK_EXT_transform_feedback, the DXVK Direct3D-on-Vulkan layer has already implemented the transform feedback support.

    DXVK developer Philip Rebohle working under contract for Valve has already merged his transform feedback implementation into the mainline code-base. He didn't magically write all of the necessary code for Direct3D 11 stream outputs mapped to Vulkan and the like today, but had written it in advance -- presumably thanks to Valve's involvement with the Vulkan working group. This is good news as working out the DXVK transform feedback support prior to firming up the VK_EXT_transform_feedback extension ensured that this new extension would work out for DXVK's needs.

  • Vulkan 1.1.88 Released With Transform Feedback As A Big Win For VKD3D / DXVK

    Vulkan 1.1.88 is out this morning and it's an exciting Vulkan update. Say hello to Vulkan transform feedback!

New Wine With Graphics Work/Latest Changes, NVIDIA's GPU Work, and Intel's Work on Mesa

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware
  • Wine Announcement
  • Wine 3.18 Brings FreeType Subpixel Font Rendering, Wine Console DPI Scaling

    A new bi-weekly Wine development release is out for those wanting to try the latest Windows gaming on Linux experience (outside of Steam Play / Proton) or running other Windows applications on Linux and other operating systems.

    The key features of Wine 3.18 include sub-pixel font rendering in conjunction with FreeType 2.8.1+, support for the OAEP algorithm within the RSA encryption code, array marshalling fixes in DCOM, improved DPI scaling for the Wine console, and various bug fixes.

  • NVIDIA Accelerates Server Workloads with RAPIDS GPU Software

    GPUs, or Graphics Process Units, are somewhat of a misnomer in the modern age for many of the applications where there are deployed. While GPUs are an important component for graphics, high-end gaming and design, they are also being widely used to accelerate High Performance Computing (HPC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) workloads.

    This week, NVIDIA announced its RAPIDS open source software for GPUs, alongside multiple partners, including Oracle, HPE and IBM.

  • Intel Whiskey Lake Support Formally Added To Mesa 18.3

    The recently posted patch for Intel Whiskey Lake support in Mesa has now been merged for Mesa 18.3.

    Intel announced Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake in late August. While Intel is usually many months or even years ahead of schedule with their open-source driver enablement for new graphics generations, Whiskey Lake basically comes down to re-branded Coffeelake UHD Graphics... Some of the PCI IDs in fact have already been present in the Intel Linux driver as reserved Coffeelake PCI IDs.

Graphics: Mir, X.Org Foundation, and AMD

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Ubuntu's Bring-Up Of NVIDIA's Driver With Mir Continues

    The Ubuntu developers continuing to work on the Mir display server stack have made headway in their NVIDIA driver enablement effort.

    The code isn't yet merged nor even ready to be merged, but they at least have got the NVIDIA proprietary driver working with Mir to the extent that EGL clients are working, rendering is working without major issues, it doesn't regress the stack for the non-NVIDIA drivers, etc.

  • XDC2019 X.Org / Mesa / Wayland Conference To Be Hosted In Montreal

    The X.Org Foundation Board of Directors decided today that their next annual X.Org/Mesa/Wayland conference will be held in Montreal, Canada.

    X.Org decided to head up to Quebec, Canada for next year's X.Org conference after the successful XDC2018 held last month in Spain. Those bidding to be the XDC2019 host city were between Montreal and Hutchinson in Minnesota.

  • AMD Posts Latest Open-Source Linux Patches For FreeSync / Adaptive-Sync / VRR

    One of the few features not yet provided by the mainline open-source Radeon Linux graphics driver will soon be crossed off the list... FreeSync / Adaptive-Sync / HDMI Variable Refresh Rate support.

    It's been a heck of a long time coming to say the least, but last month AMD began posting new patches for VRR / Adaptive-Sync / FreeSync for their open-source Linux graphics driver. Part of the reason why it's taken so long getting to this point was reaching a consensus with the Intel Linux graphics driver developers and other Linux DRM stakeholders over the design/properties to use in exposing this functionality to user-space so eventually other Linux graphics drivers can choose to implement this support similarly.

A Look At The Windows 10 October 2018 Update Performance With WSL

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Graphics/Benchmarks

As the first of our Linux vs. Windows benchmarks coming around Microsoft's Windows 10 October 2018 Update, today we are exploring the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) performance to see if they have finally managed to improve the I/O performance for this Linux binary compatibility layer and how the WSL performs compared to Ubuntu and Clear Linux.

For those that have missed my previous rounds of Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) benchmarking, this Linux binary compatibility layer for Windows is surprisingly performant for most workloads... Microsoft all around has done a surprisingly good job on WSL with its support and performance. The big exception to the strong WSL performance though has been for I/O workloads struggling a great deal due to WSL needing to track the various meta-data separately, backing the I/O by their long-standing NTFS file-system, and other complications between Linux/Windows I/O handling. But they continue to express they are working on improving the I/O performance and as such I was anxious to see if there are any improvements with this October 2018 Update.

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Hands On & Initial Benchmarks With An Ampere eMAG 32-Core ARM Server

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Especially with Qualcomm's Centriq efforts going quiet in recent months, one of the most interesting ARM server efforts at the moment is Ampere Computing -- the company founded by former Intel president Renee James and with several other ex-Intel employees on staff. They started off with the acquired assets from what was AppliedMicro and their X-Gene ARMv8 IP and for the past year have been improving it into their recently announced eMAG processors.

The eMAG processors announced back in September by Ampere are up to 32-core with a 3.3GHz turbo while having a launch price of $850 USD. Their second processor is a 16-core model with 3.3GHz turbo for $550. Both processors support eight DDR4-2667MHz memory channels, SATA 3.0 storage connectivity, 42 PCI Express 3.0 lanes, and these 16nm FinFET processors have a 125 Watt TDP. Lenovo and other ODMs will be manufacturing servers with eMAG processors although the expected pricing information isn't yet announced.

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Graphics: Proton/RADV, AMD, NVIDIA/Vulkan and X.Org Developers Conference (XDC)

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Graphics/Benchmarks
  • Proton 3.7 Updated, More RADV Fixes To Help Steam Play Gaming

    Overnight Valve promoted their Proton 3.7-7 build with better alt-tab handling and full-screen behavior for many games. There is also fixed mouse behavior and DXVK 0.80 is now used for the Direct3D-11-over-Vulkan translation to yield better Steam Play gaming performance.

    Steam Play 3.7-8 is also now available in beta with minor compatibility fixes, which Valve says is in preparation for future Proton versions.

  • AMD Stages A Number Of Fixes Ahead Of Linux 4.20~5.0 - Plus Vega 20 "MGPU Fan Boost"

    Following several interesting and exciting feature pull requests for the next Linux kernel (to be released as either version 4.20 or 5.0), AMD developers have moved onto stabilizing this massive amount of new feature code.

    The first "fixes" pull request was submitted today to DRM-Next focusing on stabilizing and fixing issues stemming from all this new code. As a reminder, that feature code ranges from AMD Picasso APU support along with Raven 2, a lot of Vega 20 enablement code including compute support, initial xGMI support, VCN dynamic power gating, DC display code enhancements, VCN JPEG engine support, Raven Ridge GFXOFF support, GPUVM virtual memory performance improvements, and a variety of other interesting work.

  • NVIDIA's Guide For Getting Started With RTX Ray-Tracing In Vulkan

    Last month's Vulkan 1.1.85 release brought NVIDIA's experimental ray-tracing extension (VK_NVX_raytracing) while for those curious how this fits into the Vulkan workflow, NVIDIA today published a guide for getting started with ray-time ray-tracing in the Vulkan space.

  • Freedesktop.org: its past and its future

    At the 2018 X.Org Developers Conference (XDC) in A Coruña, Spain, Daniel Stone gave an update on the status of freedesktop.org, which serves multiple projects as a hosting site for code, mailing lists, specifications, and more. As its name would imply, it started out with a focus on free desktops and cross-desktop interoperability, but it lost that focus—along with its focus in general—along the way. He recapped the journey of fd.o (as it is often known) and unveiled some idea of where it may be headed in the future.

    The talk was billed with Keith Packard as co-presenter, but Packard could not make it to XDC; Stone said that he sent Packard a copy of the slides and heard no complaints, so he left Packard on the slide deck [PDF]. Stone wanted to start with the history of fd.o, because there are lots of new contributors these days—"which is great"—who may not know about it.

GPUs and Graphics: Nvidia, X.Org Developers' Conference, vRt and ROCm

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Hardware

A Look At Linux Application Scaling Up To 128 Threads

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Graphics/Benchmarks

Arriving last week in our Linux benchmarking lab was a dual EPYC server -- this Dell PowerEdge R7425 is a beast of a system with two AMD EPYC 7601 processors yielding a combined 64 cores / 128 threads, 512GB of RAM (16 x 32GB DDR4), and 20 x 500GB Samsung 860 EVO SSDs. There will be many interesting benchmarks from this server in the days and weeks ahead. For some initial measurements during the first few days of stress testing this 2U rack server, here is a look at how well various benchmarks/applications are scaling from two to 128 threads.

This article with these benchmarks is mainly intended for reference purposes for those curious how well different Linux workloads scale up to 128 threads with these multi-core benchmarks available via the Phoronix Test Suite and OpenBenchmarking.org. Tests were done with 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, and 64 cores enabled and then the default configuration of 64 threads plus SMT to yield 128 threads of jaw-dropping power.

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